Reflections on release of Own Your Voice
The release of Own Your Voice has been unlike anything I’ve ever done. I released a piece of my heart into the world and that came with a bag of mixed emotions. It has been messy, imperfect, challenging, and beautiful all at the same time.
At first, the vulnerability hangovers were really big! As with anything in life, anytime you release something/someone into the world that is near and dear to your heart, you have moments of feeling vulnerable to other people’s opinions. Own Your Voice has given me the opportunity to tell my story of turning trauma into triumph. I worried so much about what people would think, whether they would like the platform I created and accept my big idea of listening to your inner voice. The support, encouragement, and positive feedback I was getting filled me with joy. However, as people started to share their opinions, even though I knew they were coming from a place of excitement, the pressure started the build in my head.
People wanted to understand Own Your Voice more by putting it into a category (ie. self-care, personal development, health/nutrition, etc.) and people were asking how Own Your Voice would provide me with an income. I think in this uncertain world, especially right now, things are easier to process and understand if it fits into a category and if we know exactly what we are going to get from what is in front of us. People’s feedback about needing to define it and understand the business side of it challenged me to think further about Own Your Voice- what it has to offer the world and where it is going.
Those old habits of trying to live up to what people wanted crept up, my anxiety started to increase and my vision for Own Your Voice was getting blurry. I was getting caught up in the opinions of others rather than processing the feedback. I kept having to remind myself that the foundation of Own Your Voice is about authentically connecting through story with the purpose of getting the message out that you can truly live your life for you, unapologetically and authentically by following what I call your inner voice.
Oprah Winfrey wrote a book called “What I Know For Sure.” There are four things “I know for sure” about Own Your Voice.”
1) I believe our voice has multiple layers
The first voice we all have is that feeling, deep down inside, that knows what is exactly right for us. Some call it their gut feeling. Some call it their religious/cultural figure speaking to them. Some call it intuition. I call it my inner voice. I see inner voice as a little guidance system that leads oneself through life. It tells us what is right for us and what does not fit. The second layer is using our actual voice in life. Whether that be advocating, stating our needs/wants, standing up for ourselves/ something we believe in and so many more ways we use our voice in life. If we are to use our outer voice in a way that guides us to be our authentic selves, we must first listen and trust our inner voice.
2) Own Your Voice will not be one dimensional
Own Your Voice focuses on listening to that inner voice in all areas of your life. To live life authentically means to hear, trust, and follow that voice no matter what struggles you are facing. Therefore, I strongly believe that putting Own Your Voice into a single category like self-care after trauma or health/nutrition would suggest that we only have to listen to our inner voice in specific areas of our lives. That is simply not true. Your inner voice wants to continually guide you, no matter where in life your struggles may appear. My story is simply meant to show others that listening to that voice can transform your mindset and lead to the life you deserve.
3) Different people will connect in different ways to Own Your Voice
If you have experienced trauma you will connect to my story. If you have experienced infertility you will connect to my story. If you are on the path to a healthier lifestyle, you will connect with me. If you have decided to not have kids, you will connect with me. If you are passionate about being able to use your voice to express yourself, you will connect with me. If you are passionate about self-care, you will connect with me! If you are a badass woman who wants to stand strong on her own two feet, you will connect with me!
4) I will connect with others through the use of stories
We each face obstacles and struggles. In an attempt to protect ourselves, we hide our stories from others. However, I have come to learn that not telling your story does not shield you from pain but makes you more vulnerable to it. Loneliness is a powerful feeling. It makes us instantly feel isolated and as a result, has the power to overcome us without us realizing it. Silence allows for shame to grow. Not telling your story means holding strong to stereotypes we feel we must fulfill and staying in the confined boxes society places on us to prevent our true selves from shining through. I believe that human connection is the superpower that wipes out loneliness. It heals hearts and wounds. It also can empower others as it gives them a path to follow.
Therefore, there are a couple of different ways that I will use stories to authentically connect with you:
a) I will continue to create posts on social media that I believe will help you discover your best self, such as motivational quotes, my own life experiences, helpful resources. I have learned that my voice is privileged due to my race, ability, sexual identity, and economic status. In order to further encourage the message that everyone has a right to have their voice heard, I will use Own Your Voice’s platform to amplify those voices that are underprivileged. I will start to share resources from them on how they find and follow their inner voice to live their life unapologetically and authentically.
b) I will continue to write blogs where I explore in detail my opinion on various topics. Writing topics might be: stepping outside the box society made for you, making decisions that align with your inner voice, how to deal with fear/anxiety/stress, growth mindset, not giving up on yourself and so much more! It will feel like self-care, health/nutrition, and personal development all wrapped into one. It’s all going to fall under the umbrella of owning exactly who you are, where you are, and finding what works for you to ultimately guide you on your path of authentic living.
c) Lastly, I will continue to engage in interviews to tell my story and am now offering opportunities for others to share their story on Own Your Voice’s social media platforms. Reach out if you want to share your story of finding and/or following your inner voice!
Over the last couple of weeks, every time I have stuck to my focus of authentically connecting through story with the purpose of getting the message out that you can truly live your life for you, unapologetically and authentically by following what I call your inner voice, we started to form connections with each other. I was getting messages from people who were saying that my writings were giving their thoughts a voice. Others were saying that having a platform that not only allowed but encouraged them to make decisions that were right for their life journey was empowering. People were connecting and joining me in my journey to a healthier life. As I started to share my story of overcoming trauma, people were reaching out saying “Me too! It’s nice to know I’m not alone!” Together, we are creating a community where we can come together, share our stories, feel supported and understood, and learn tools that will give us the strength to listen to our inner voice that will ultimately guide us to living our lives for ourselves.
From the bottom of my heart I thank-you for your love, support, and challenging questions! I have grown so much since releasing this passion project into the world. Releasing Own Your Voice has reminded me of the beautiful messiness of life. Sometimes we don’t need to put a label on things or put them in a box. We don’t have to have it all figured out before we take a leap of faith. Sometimes the leap is the best messy you can have. If I don’t make one penny at this, it doesn’t matter. If people don’t understand everything Own Your Voice is about, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that wherever you are in life, you will get encouragement from Own Your Voice to live your life unapologetically and authentically by following your inner voice. Whether that be through engaging in a conversation on my social media platforms, joining me on my health/nutrition journey, listening to inspiring stories, or reading my blog. If it gets one person to take a step towards living a life aligned with their inner voice, then Own Your Voice has done its job! And where Own Your Voice goes next will be determined by what authentically feels right for it. I might end up adding a business aspect to it. I might put it under a category. Or I might not. But that will be determined by how this messy, imperfect, passion project grows! That is my offer to the world.